Thousands of Indian farmers march 180km for government support


Tens of thousands of Indian farmers came together in Mumbai early Monday morning to protest against a lack of government support and to demand unconditional loan waivers, better prices for their produce, and pensions for farmers (Times of India) after unpredictable weather destroyed crops.

The farmers walked 180 kilometers (112 miles) for six days from Nashik district in the western state of Maharashtra to Mumbai, India’s financial capital in the second major local protest by farmers in less than a year.

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The protesters are staging a sit-in outside the state legislative assembly as annual budget talks take place.

Farmers shout slogans against the government at a rally organised by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) in Mumbai, India March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Farmers shout slogans against the government at a rally organised by All India Kisan Sabha, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and other farmers’ unions in Mumbai, India March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The protest comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to implement loan waivers, double farming incomes by 2020 and ensure a 50 percent return of production costs before the 2019 national election (Bloomberg).

The Maharashtra state government said it will be open to talks after the rally.

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